Mayor Michael B. Hancock is a graduate of the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. We recently asked him five questions about his education at the university and his work as mayor of Denver.
How does CU Denver add to the quality of life in this city?
CU Denver adds to the greatness of our city. To have a major university in the very heart of our city is a real asset. I have made the education of our children, from cradle to career, one of my top priorities, and making sure our college-educated students are ready for careers when they get their degree is a main aspect of our Denver Education Compact initiative. To have CU Denver as a potential partner in these efforts is an asset not only to the compact, but to the future of our city as well.
Why did you originally seek a graduate degree and, specifically, why did you seek that degree at CU Denver?
I sought my graduate degree, because I wanted to stay competitive in an evolving workforce market. I chose the University of Colorado Denver as the place to attain my graduate degree, because I was returning from receiving my bachelor’s degree at Hastings College in central Nebraska and wanted to be at a school close to home while I continued by studies.
What skills and knowledge from your graduate work at the School of Public Affairs do you use now, as mayor?
My graduate degree was in public administration. The knowledge I gained while earning this degree has helped me to better understand the day-to-day functions of city government. Understanding the process can go a long way toward finding better and faster solutions to issues.
What has surprised you about your current job?
Each day is full of new challenges, and each of those challenges is full of new opportunities to make this city a better place to live, work and play. I’ve always said that being mayor of Denver is the best job in the world. Each new day is a new opportunity to keep our city moving forward.
If you could do one single thing as mayor to change any aspect of higher education, what would you do?
I would like to strengthen the partnership between higher education and our city’s high schools. Universities and colleges can play a much more active role in making sure graduating high school students are prepared to take the classes these institutions offer, and I’m eager to help bridge that gap.